University of Illinois to catalog rare Italian books

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CHAMPAIGN - University of Illinois officials say the school will use a nearly $500,000 grant to catalog a collection of rare Italian books that it's had for more than 90 years.

The grant is being given to the university by the Council on Library and Information Resources, and will help catalog more than 20,000 Italian books from the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries at the school's Rare Book & Manuscript Library.  

According to library Director Valerie Hotchkiss, the books are part of "one of the world's premier collections for Italian studies," but the library hasn't had the money to catalog them until now.  Officials say after the catalog process is complete, the rare books will be made available to scholars.

The collection was purchased from the family of a count, who was considered to be an authority on northern Italy's local history, in 1921.
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